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  1. #1
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    Default botulism

    What experiences have you all had? I just put my mare down this a.m. - vet said it was botulism.. I thought she was colic-ing...now I am afraid for the other horses....



  2. #2
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    Oh so sorry to read this.

    Just a question, was the mare vaccinated against Botulism?
    If so, did the vet say he/she thought it was a different strain than the one vaccinated for?



  3. #3
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    It's awful. There have been a few outbreaks due to contaminated feed in Southern California. You are right to be afraid for the others.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  4. #4
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    so sorry. This is such a scary situation. Jingles for the others.



  5. #5
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    No, we have never vaccinated before, and the vet didn't mention doing it now to the others, I have a call in to her to see if I can, even with potential exposure.

    I don't think it is very common here, but we had a very wet spring and maybe that changed things....



  6. #6
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    There is a programme at the CDC for antitoxin. I think it is developed using horses.
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000773.htm

    AAEP info; http://www.aaep.org/botulism.htm
    "There are no licensed vaccines available for preventing botulism due to Cl. botulinum type C or other subtypes of toxins. Cross-protection between the B and C subtypes does not occur; thus routine vaccination against Cl. botulinum type C is not currently practiced."

    Informative paper from Louisiana STate; http://www.dhh.state.la.us/offices/m...lismManual.pdf
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  7. #7
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    Sep. 21, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    It's awful. There have been a few outbreaks due to contaminated feed in Southern California. You are right to be afraid for the others.
    Im in So Cal. What brand or type of feed?


    Sorry about your mare sonnycher, Fingers crossed for the others.



  8. #8
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    First of all, I'm very sorry for your loss. Thats a terrible thing to happen.

    Botulism is pretty rare out here in the west. Not an endemic problem like you guys in the South and East have. Vaccinating against it is pretty much unheard of and I'm not sure that the vaccine even works against what we tend to see here (ETA, see Equibrit's post above,) which is usually caused by dead animals in hay bales.

    Someone I know lost two horses a few years ago from feeding them contaminated hay. While we all think we wouldn't do that, it's pretty easy if you are throwing hay in the dark not to notice a small rodent crunched into a flake. And it's not just that flake that's going to be contaminated, particularly if it was an animal of any size--I think they found a rabbit, disposed of those immediate flakes and fed the rest of the bale thinking it would be OK, if I remember rightly.

    If your other horses are all right at the moment, you have probably dodged the bullet. But if you feed round bales I'd be ditching the one the mare was eating from right quick, myself, and if not, then do take a close look at the hay you are feeding anyway.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airfern View Post
    Im in So Cal. What brand or type of feed?


    Sorry about your mare sonnycher, Fingers crossed for the others.
    The last one I know about in Southern California would have been about 15 years ago, and related to dead rodents getting smashed into hay cubes.

    I remember the vet coming in in the afternoon on a call for my trainer's horse (not botulism related), after he'd spent the morning euthanizing something like 10 horses with botulism. She pulled the horse out of the stall and he said, "Well, the good news is that he doesn't have botulism."
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  10. #10
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    Happened at our barn to one horse, who was field boarded. All the other horses were immediately pulled out of that pasture.



  11. #11
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    How sad, I'm so sorry

    Has it been determined which type it was? If it wasn't B, there wasn't anything you could have done
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  12. #12
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    Nov. 28, 2008
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    The clinic I work for sees a few cases per year. It's not necessarily a death sentence, but you have to decide if you want to put the horse and your finances through at least a month of recumbency/sling time. I've not heard of multiple horses at one farm getting it, but I suppose it's possible. Most horses around here are vaccinated, though I couldn't even find the vaccine when I lived in Michigan. I just bought my boosters on Saturday. Guess I should go give them.



  13. #13
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    The odds are very good that it was only a small amount of contaminated feed/ hay etc.-- but until you know for sure, I would not feed ANYTHING the horse had access to. In fact, if your grain/ hay cubes etc. are all from the same batch as the dead horse's I would not feed any of it. Hay from a different bale is most likely okay. Scrub out all the tubs with bleach in case there is left over contaminated feed.

    Hope everyone else is okay!



  14. #14
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    Thank you all....I ordered a new stack of hay to be delivered, but how do you know, could be a little dead mouse in there, too...I am beyond a little freaked out...I guess there is a vaccine for botulism, waiting for the vet to call me back all day to see if I can give it now, even with potential exposure...but how do you know they don't always have potential exposure at any given time....



  15. #15
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    from the AAEP website;
    "Vaccine:

    A killed vaccine (toxoid) directed against Cl. botulinum type B only is licensed for use in horses in the United States. Its primary indication is for prevention of the Shaker Foal Syndrome by colostral transfer of antibodies produced by vaccination of the pregnant mare. Almost all cases of Shaker Foal Syndrome, a significant problem in Kentucky and in the mid-Atlantic seaboard states in foals between 2 weeks and 8 months of age, are caused by Cl. botulinum type B. Limited information suggests that foals vaccinated with the toxoid at 2 weeks, 4 weeks and at 8 weeks of age developed adequate serologic response, even in the presence of passive maternal antibodies.

    There are no licensed vaccines available for preventing botulism due to Cl. botulinum type C or other subtypes of toxins. Cross-protection between the B and C subtypes does not occur; thus routine vaccination against Cl. botulinum type C is not currently practiced."
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  16. #16
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    Right, if it's the dead mouse you're worried about, you can't do anything about that other than inspect each flake as you put it out (actually this is a great reason I love to peel off the hay from my round bales - I see ALL the hay that gets put out). There's no vaccine for it - the only vaccine is for Type B, which is the soil-borne bacteria. But even then, it's not just about the soil - it's about whatever the horse eats coming into contact with soil that has it, and that "stuff" getting into an anaerobic situation to allow the spores (?) to "come alive" if you will.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  17. #17
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    Just got a stack of new hay and will be checking each flake...my friend found a dead snake at the bottom of her feeder tonight, was in the hay...scary.



  18. #18
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    I found a deer leg once, halfway through a bale! Fortunately, no ill effects.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  19. #19
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    Yup, feed hay long enough and you WILL find critters in it.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  20. #20
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    There was a cat carcass in one of the bales as we were loading, we threw it and the neighboring bales off to the side, but I've been feeling so guilty...but I know it could be from something as tiny as a baby mouse that you would not even see....



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